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????????????????????????????? The Sports Network
??????????????? DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: M.A.C. Center (6,327) -- Kent, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: WMU 6-2, KSU 8-3. Away Record: WMU 1-5, KSU 3-3. Neutral Record: WMU 2-1, KSU 0-0. Conference Record: WMU 2-2, KSU 2-2. Series Record: Kent State leads, 59-54.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to break a long streak of futility in Kent, the Western Michigan Broncos travel to the M.A.C. Center to battle the Kent State Golden Flashes in a Mid-American Conference matchup.
WMU lost to Bowling Green last Saturday, 69-64. It was the Broncos' second straight loss and they are 5-5 in their last 10 outings overall.
Also on Saturday, Kent State was downed by Buffalo in a 71-60 final. That loss snapped a modest two-game win streak for the Golden Flashes, who are also playing .500 ball in their last 10 contests.
Kent State leads the all-time series, 59-54. The Flashes are 37-16 as the home team, and have won 10 straight at the M.A.C. Center.
In the loss to Bowling Green, the Broncos were led by David Brown who dropped in 21 points, followed by Shayne Whittington with 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Connar Tava was all over the stat sheet with seven points, 11 boards, six assists and a couple of steals. WMU led by as many as 15 early in the second half, but was held to only seven field goals in the period and shot a mere 1-of-7 behind the 3-point line, as they saw their lead disappear for good in the final minutes. The Broncos turned the ball over 18 times and also allowed the Falcons to knock down an impressive 10-of-18 beyond the arc.
Brown leads the Broncos this season with 18.9 ppg on 41 percent shooting from the floor, but just 28.7 percent from 3-point distance. Whittington nets 14.1 ppg, and Tava 12.7 ppg. The Broncos as a unit average 70.9 ppg and are holding opponents to 66.9 ppg.
For Kent State, Devareaux Manley poured in 17 points and Kris Brewer netted 11 in the loss at Buffalo. The Golden Flashes shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, while holding the Bulls to just 37.5 percent shooting, but their lead was just two, 29-27, heading into intermission. Leading by two early in the second half, Kent State allowed Buffalo to go on an 18-4 run and Kent State never threatened the lead from that point forward. The Golden Flashes were outscored at the free-throw line by a 21-6 margin for the game.
Brewer averages 12.6 ppg to pace Kent State, while Derek Jackson (10.9 ppg) and Manley (10.0 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers. KSU averages 73.4 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting.
Both of these teams are looking for some momentum as conference play heats up. Expect the defense of the Golden Flashes to get the job done on their home court, as they continue their dominance of the Broncos at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 71, Western Michigan 65
01/23 10:23:06 ET
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